Exeter was the most south-westerly Roman fortified settlement in Britain, although there is evidence a British tribe existed in Exeter before the Roman invasion. Exeter became a religious centre during the Middle Ages and into the Tudor times: Exeter Cathedral, founded in the mid 11th century, became Anglican during the 16th-century English Reformation. During the late 19th century, Exeter became an affluent centre for the wool trade, although by the First World War the city was in decline. After the Second World War, much of the city centre was rebuilt and is now considered to be a centre for modern business and tourism in Devon and Cornwall.
The administrative area of Exeter has the status of a non-metropolitan district under the administration of the County Council; a plan to grant the city unitary authority status was scrapped under the 2010 coalition government.
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